29 March 2017
South Derbyshire District Council’s grounds maintenance team has found a novel way to tackle a prickly issue.
Special waterproof stickers have been applied to strimmers and tools to remind the workers to check for hedgehogs under bushes and in hedgerows before using any machinery.
The stickers have been provided by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society ahead of Hedgehog Awareness Week 2017, which aims to help protect the much-loved but under-threat creature.
Hedgehogs are most commonly spotted in gardens and parks, where bushes and hedges provide the perfect daytime getaway and insect-rich grass and flowerbeds make excellent feeding grounds at dusk.
However, in the past decade, numbers have fallen by 30 per cent due to habitat loss, with fewer than one million now thought to be left in the UK.
Adrian Lowery, Direct Services Manager at the District Council, said:
“From spring until November our grounds maintenance workers are out and about mowing grass and trimming hedges, covering the length and breadth of the District.
“In what is a largely rural area we’re always mindful of protecting our native wildlife, and this initiative is our commitment to doing our bit to help protect hedgehogs.
“No-one wants to see their numbers fall further, so we’d urge members of the public out and about using our parks and public spaces to be mindful of them too.”
Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from April 30 to May 6 this year, with more tips about protecting hedgehogs and how to get involved available at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk